Dubai Oil Refiner Said to Have Held Talks on Retail Unit IPO

(Bloomberg) -- Emirates National Oil Co., the government-owned refiner in Dubai, has held discussions with advisers for a potential initial public offering of its fuel-retailing unit, according to people familiar with the matter.

The retail arm of ENOC, as the company is known, could be valued at more than $7 billion in the event of a listing, the people said, asking not to be identified as the matter is private. ENOC held talks with banks as recently as December, the people said. No final decision has been made and the company may decide not to pursue an IPO, the people said.

ENOC “is not planning for any IPO currently,” a representative for the company said in an emailed statement. “The group’s financial performance has been resilient throughout the downturn in the oil and gas industry, which is reflected in our ability to secure various sources of funding.”

A potential IPO would follow a $851 million offering by Abu Dhabi National Oil Co.’s fuel-retailing unit last month. Adnoc, as the company is known, had been seeking a valuation of as much as $14 billion for its fuel retail unit, people familiar with the matter said in July. When the share sale was completed the unit was valued at $8.5 billion.

There is a renewed interest in IPOs in the United Arab Emirates after only two share sales in 2015 and 2016. Emaar Properties PJSC raised $1.3 billion from the IPO of its development unit last year, while Mubadala Investment Co. expects to list its Emirates Global Aluminium division this year.

ENOC’s retail arm manages and operates 116 service stations in the U.A.E., reaching an estimated 90 million customers a year, according to its website. The parent company reported a profit of $1 billion in 2016 on revenue of $13.2 billion.

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